Prep Bowl: Maple Grove tops Rosemount 27-10 in Class 6A championship game

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Lakeville South derailed Maple Grove’s hopes of a football championship in 2021 with a six-point victory. While championship dreams were temporarily dashed, Maple Grove wasn’t daunted as it made their way into another Class AAAAAA championship berth a year later. But another South Suburban Conference school stood in the path of Maple Grove’s pursuit of a first championship in 10 state tournament appearances.

It was Rosemount, hungry to end a state championship dry spell since 1981, the last year before the Prep Bowl Era. With a defense that surrenders little, many believed Rosemount had the edge in the race for securing a trophy at the end of Day 1 of the two-day Prep Bowl.

Instead, Maple Grove solved Rosemount’s defense with a 21-point outburst in the second quarter that paved the way to a 27-10 victory late Friday night, Dec. 2 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Senior quarterback Jacob Kilzer accounted for two of his three touchdowns in the decisive second quarter that completed an undefeated season for the Crimson (13-0).

After a first-quarter field goal gave the Irish (12-1) an early lead, Kilzer gave the Crimson a lead they wouldn’t surrender when he hit senior Jacob Anderson with a strike to complete a 45-yard scoring play. Following a Rosemount fumble, Maple Grove quickly added to its lead on a 1-yard run by Tanner Albeck with 10:19 left in the second quarter. After another fumble, Maple Grove capitalized again on Kilzer’s 8-yard run to the right said, and suddenly, it was 21-3.

The Irish would show some life in the waning moments of the second quarter when senior tight end Kyson Leenderts caught a 7-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Landon Danner to close the gap to 21-10 at the half.

But instead of inching any closer, Maple Grove clamped down on Rosemount in the second half with numerous key stops. Albeck led a ball-hawking defense with 14 tackles.

Kilzer closed out the scoring on a 1-yard run that completed a 13-play, 63-yard drive that gobbled up nearly seven minutes of clock in the third and fourth quarters. Kilzer finished the season with 21 combined touchdowns.

It was Rosemount’s third runner-up finish in as many Prep Bowl championship game appearances. The others came in 2010 and 2013.